Are we ready for another review breakdown in The Hunger Games trilogy? If you haven’t read my review summary for The Hunger Games, then I suggest you do so! Unless you just want a little fresher up in this second installment! I personally do not think that Catching Fire holds up as well as book one, but I still loved it a lot, and I’m very impressed with it, even in 2020. For some strange reason, I didn’t love the parts of the game in this book, but I loved the buildup, and the capitol, and the meeting of new characters (be still, my Finnick Odair heart). Ah, lets get into it before I start to gush! Also, again, this review will have spoilers, so use caution if you don’t want me to tell you what happens in each chapter of this book!
➽ Chapter One:
I love it when a tale starts out with the sipping of tea. Katniss and Peeta are both home and they both are remembering everything that they were forced to endure during the games. It has been a year already, and they are getting ready for (gosh this feels like a bad word, but…) celebration. We also get to see Gale, who is incredibly stubborn and works in the mines most of the time now and refuses to take any of Katniss’s winning fortune. Yet, this is the real start of the Gale versus Peeta love triangle for me. And I’m not the only one who notices, because President Snow soon comes and lets Katniss know he is brewing is own pot of tea.
➽ Chapter Two:
Snow proceeds to threaten Gale’s life and tells Katniss that she needs to make everyone (including himself) believe in the love between Peeta and her. And he also lets her know that they have a whole tour of all the districts, filled with opportunities to prove themselves and their love for one another.
➽ Chapter Three:
This year will be the 75th games, and that is especially important because it means it is a Quarter Quell! Which essentially means they have an even more wild game every 25 years. And during the last one? Haymitch was the winner. Katniss is suffering from extreme PTSD from everything she was forced to endure, and she keeps seeing Rue and it’s haunting her. She is also quickly realizing that she is going to be forced to keep convincing the world of her love for Peeta forever, because they will always be in the spotlight for the rest of their lives. Oh, and Peeta has an artificial leg now, and it makes me wish so desperately that they included that representation into the movies!
➽ Chapter Four:
Katniss feels like she is going to have to eventually marry Peeta, and again it is just giving her added pressure and stress on top of everything else that is to come. This is also the iconic favorite colors (green and orange) scene and I love it a lot, honestly. But Peeta and Katniss make their way to district 11 and they make their speeches to the people. And during Peeta’s speech he promises to give Rue’s family part of their earnings forever. After that grand gesture, an old man makes the whistle sound that Rue and Katniss made in the games, and he is promptly killed.
➽ Chapter Five:
After the heartbreaking end of that visit, Katniss promises to always keep Peeta in the loop with everything, and she lets him know about what Snow has said to her. Katniss and Peeta cuddle each night and try to protect themselves from the nightmares, while they go on their full tour to all the districts while being engaged.
➽ Chapter Six:
I’ll be honest, I had forgotten about the throw up drinks that the Capitol uses to take bites of all the food that they can’t possibly eat with their normal digesting stomach alone! I really liked this chapter, because it felt like Katniss and Peeta are able to slip into this world of winning for mere moments, when they are just abruptly forced to see these privileged people who don’t have a care in the world, while they remember how hungry and cold they had to grow up in district 12. Speaking of district 12, that is where they are going to end their tour, but Katniss finds her way into the mayor’s house where she secretly finds out that district 8 is uprising.
➽ Chapter Seven:
Katniss was going to run away with Gale, and he was all like “I love you” and Katniss was just like *microwave noises* a bit and it sent me, truly. But after that, Gale gets whipped and I felt really bad.
➽ Chapter Eight:
Katniss gets hit in the face while trying to get to Gale, but he gets medicine and stiches and is healing up as best as he can. Yet, they obviously are not going to run away any longer.
➽ Chapter Nine:
Peeta and Katniss’s marriage is going to be soon. And Katniss starts to really believe that maybe an uprising can spark a revolution.
➽ Chapter Ten:
In this chapter we get to learn about district 13, and how it was supposedly bombed and completely taken out. But we also learn about a conspiracy theory that they people are somewhere safe and waiting.
➽ Chapter Eleven:
Katniss is trapped by an electric fence and hurts herself returning home. She also learns that they are hiding something in district 8 and showing the same television clip over and over.
➽ Chapter Twelve:
Many districts start rebelling, and then the truly shocking twist of the special 75th games is announced: the victors of previous years will go back in to fight. Reminder that Katniss is the only girl who can go back, and Peeta and Haymitch are the only two boys.
➽ Chapter Thirteen:
Katniss and Haymitch get very drunk together. And then Haymitch is picked, and Peeta volunteers to take his place like the good boy he always is.
“The odds are never in our favour”
➽ Chapter Fourteen:
Peeta and Katniss watch Haymitch’s competition and see how he outsmarted the game with the force field that held them inside.
“He offered me sugar and wanted to know all my secrets”
➽ Chapter Fifteen:
Finnick Odair!!! We get to really start to begin to see the sad truth of what it means to be a victor in the games. Finnick and Katniss meet for the first time, and its so heartbreaking and heartwarming in the same exact instant.
➽ Chapter Sixteen:
We get to see a tiny bit more of Snow’s cruelty with the servant who is assigned to Katniss at a dinner. But Katniss and Peeta are meeting people and practicing their skills and abilities. Peeta, as always, is such a people person, who everyone loves, but Katniss just cannot bear getting close to anyone again. Even though her and Peeta put on very heartbreaking and memorable acts at the end of this chapter.
“I have to kill them all to save Peeta”
➽ Chapter Seventeen:
Peeta tells Katniss about his painting for Rue (I didn’t talk about this earlier, but I love how Peeta paints to heal some of his pain and trauma, while also remembering the story of what happened to them). Then Katniss and Peeta have a rooftop picnic where they just spend the whole entire day together. This is truly one of my favorite chapters, and just the calm before the storm. Or the calm before Katniss puts on the mockingjay outfit that Cinna has made for her.
➽ Chapter Eighteen:
We get to see Caesar again, and Katniss and Peeta have an interview with him. Then… the most heartbreaking part of this entire book happens, and while Katniss is in the tube to go up to the game, she is forced to watch Cinna be beat and killed before her. I truly wonder if Cinna knew what would be his fate, when he made that dress and when he unapologetically believed in Katniss with a love so strong that it was his end.
“Remember, girl on fire […] I’m still betting on you.”
➽ Chapter Nineteen:
It is the start of the games and Katniss is supposed to be pretending like she is pregnant, but she can hardly even see what is going on after the events that she was just forced to witness.
➽ Chapter Twenty:
Katniss, Finnick, Mags (who I said I would pay better attention too, because of the prequel, but honestly I didn’t and I feel a bit bad), and Peeta try to get away. Katniss believes Peeta to be dead. And then she believes Finnick to be kissing him, until she realizes he is saving him. Yet, that doesn’t stop the other tributes from dying all around them.
➽ Chapter Twenty-One:
They are still running away, but they soon realize that this game is unlike any other. Katniss and Finnick are forced to carry the other two, until the weight is too much to bear, and the deadly fog is creeping closer and closer. Mags understands the severity of the situation and throws herself into it, in hopes that the others will get away, safely.
➽ Chapter Twenty-Two:
Oh! And killer monkeys were in the last chapter too, because again, this year’s games is wild as all hell! But the three of them are still retreating when they stumble across another small group of Johanna, Beetee, and Wiress. You know, I haven’t talked about Johanna Mason in this review yet, but oh my word do I love her character and how she always keeps you guessing. But they are all somewhat injured (some worse than others), but Wiress keeps saying the famous like “Tick, tock. Tick, tock” which they have no idea what that means… yet.
➽ Chapter Twenty-Three:
Okay, it is “yet” and Katniss figured out it’s a clock all on her own. Basically, the map is one big clock and each hour some deadly force happens. And Katniss now believes she is hearing Prim.
➽ Chapter Twenty-Four:
She soon realizes it is a jabberjay, and she also learned seven of the hours so far! Also…. This is really sad foreshadowing of what is to come in Mockingjay and I gasped a little bit, truly. Oh, and Peeta is being really sweet and romantic to Katniss, because he refuses to let her sacrifice herself for him.
“You’re my whole life.”
➽ Chapter Twenty-Five:
They are trying to survive the best that they can, and Peeta gives her a pearl for luck, and Katniss is just so sure that she is going to die.
➽ Chapter Twenty-Six:
That is, until she makes the connection with this mysterious lightning tree, where she is able to also hit the game dome and break everything she knows and doesn’t know yet. And this time Katniss is positive that she is going to die.
➽ Chapter Twenty-Seven:
Yet, she wakes up in a hospital, not understand anything. She heartbreakingly finds out that people knew and were part of a rebellion plan the whole game and used her without her consent or knowledge. And they chose to save Katniss, and not Peeta, because she is a symbol, even though she never asked to be one. Katniss feels so betrayed and helpless. And then the book ends with her finding out that district 12 has been firebombed and is gone.
Trigger and Content Warnings for talk of loss of a parent, animal death(s), abandonment, depression, PTSD depiction, blood depiction, alcoholism, gore, violence, murder, talk of suicidal thoughts, talk of death in the past.
Buddy read with Lea! ❤